Tanzania has threatened to ban non-governmental groups that “promote” the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people in the first public statement the government has made on the subject.
Gay sex is illegal in Tanzania and punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
The deputy minister for health, community, development and gender, Hamisi Kigwangala, said: “I cannot deny the presence of LGBTI people in our country and the risk they pose in fuelling the spread of HIV/AIDS but we don’t subscribe to the assertion that there’s a ‘gender continuum’. We still recognize two traditional sexes and there’s nothing in between or beyond … Any effort to claim otherwise is not allowed. Tanzania does not allow activist groups carrying out campaigns that promote homosexuality … Any attempt to commit unnatural offences is illegal and severely punished by law.”